The city of Oswego, overlooking Lake Ontario, is home to a very distinctive fort. Fort Ontario, first built in 1755 during the French and Indian War is best known for its star shape and now known for its haunting history.

Primarily occupied by the British, the fort was initially constructed as a defense against French invasion from Canada. British occupation continued throughout the Revolutionary War, until the fort was destroyed in July of 1778, after it was abandoned by British forces.

Rebuilt in 1782 by the British, they continued to hold the fort until 1796, and the signing of Jay’s Treaty. Now held by American Troops, the fort was once again destroyed by the British during the War of 1812.

However, since the location was viewed as a strong strategic point to hold the fort was again rebuilt, and continued to be modernized over the years, as it was an active military base up until 1940, when the division housed there was disbanded. During WWII, the fort was used to house Jewish refugees.

Currently, Fort Oswego is managed by NYS Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Sites. It can be toured, and they host a variety of interactive events.
Unsurprisingly, considering the history of the fort, it is reportedly very haunted. Host to numerous investigations and ghost tours, there are a variety of paranormal occurrences that have been observed at the fort.

Some of the ghosts have names: Basil Dunbar, who died in a duel, and seems to not know he’s dead; and Corporal Fykes, who died of disease, and makes his presence known by sudden drops in temperature. Corporal Fykes, who is buried on the property, also is associated with a piece of folklore that states that anyone who stands on his grave is cursed to be haunted by him. Conversely, if you jump over his grave, you can choose to curse someone else.

Other nameless ghosts include a headless soldier, a female spirit, and the sounds of a small child laughing.


Watch the Complete Haunts and Legends Season 1 via this Youtube Playlist

Watch the complete first season of the Haunts and Legends of New York including our explorations of the Happy Valley ghost town near Syracuse, the Lost Village of Delta near Rome, Utica's Secret Underground Waterways and the Hidden Vault at Bagg Commemorative Park in Utica.